Tokyo, Jan 29 (AFP) Japan’s businesses must realise Britain’s membership of the European Union is “over,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said today, while touting France as an attractive post-Brexit alternative. Also Read - France Makes Menstrual Products Free For Students: Here’s How Other Countries Fight Period Poverty

“The message is clear for us: firstly, the presence of Britain in the European Union is over,” he said describing his discussions with local business leaders during a four-day trip to Japan. Also Read - Indian Restaurant in UK Attempts to Send Samosa Into Space, it Crash-lands in France

“I felt that there were maybe some voices saying ‘perhaps it…’ No! It’s over,” he added, encouraging Japanese companies to face the reality of Britain’s departure from the EU. Also Read - Bird Flu Reported in 10 EU Countries: What Steps Are They Taking to Prevent Further Spread?

“In March 2019, it will be the end,” he said at a conference on the last day of his trip.

Japanese banks were among the first to react to Britain’s June 2016 referendum decision to leave the EU, with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group saying in 2017 it would create a subsidiary in Frankfurt in preparation for Brexit.

But Japanese companies present in Britain have been more cautious about publicly announcing similar Brexit plans, despite the efforts of other European countries to woo those looking for alternatives. (AFP)

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.